Having toiled with the idea for at least a year I have decided to direct my first short. The Making Of A Wannabe was initially wrote last year as pre-cursor to a feature script I had written. I have since spent many hours in the re-drafting process and have finally come up with the finished product.
The short will be a little longer than what would be deemed relevant for a short, and will come in at around 25 minutes. In my book, any film that is not a feature is a short.
Casting is almost complete and the guys from Hethwheel Pictures, Derek and Niall have kindly undertaken to help with the technical side of things. Haven seen their work to date that end of things will look after itself.
I'm currently scouting locations and gathering props and working with the actors at every available opportunity. Some of the cast are first time actors while other have worked on stage and screen in the past.
So begins the journey which I hope will see me fulfill a life-time ambition and see me make the first steps into a successful career within the industry both as a writer and director.
28 April 2008
I am proud to announce a creative and business partnership in Trim, Co Meath. JaSE Films, though in it's infancy aims to initially produce independent short films before moving into feature films. At the moment our debut short,The Making Of A Wannabe, is in an advanced stage of pre-production. Another short penned by myself, The Man Who Held His Own Hand is in pre-production with Naas based, Hethwheel Pictures.
Though starting small we aim to deliver quality productions while aiming as high as we possibly can at this stage to have high production values. At first we aim to produce work we are developing ourselves, as well as building up relationships with other small independent companies. We hope in time to be in a position to consider scripts from new writers who find it difficult to get work read and more importantly produced.
Partners in the venture are Barry o Neill and Dermot Corscadden who will be doing everything in their power to put us on the map. (As well as adding some financial clout)Thanks Guys.
Tiring of the lack of opportunities, we see this as an opportunity for ourselves to finally start wiping off the cobwebs on work already written, but finding it hard to find a 'home'. We hope that showing people what we have to offer and by going out and showing what we can do, in time we will be a beneficial asset to the film industry at large. Only time will tell but it's a start.
2 May, 2008
Had a meeting with Derek last night and we discussed some ideas with regard the shoot. His dedication to his own filmmaking is admirable and I'm glad we met through the network and have finally come out of myself and started on the long road ahead. I'm meeting with a couple of actors early next week and all going well I'll have my lead. I have provisionally pencilled in the weekend of the 6th of June for the shoot. It will be a three day shoot, shot entirely in Trim, Co Meath.
Hope to have a full cast list up next week. I have a nice mix of experience and also first timers and i hope i can pull off what i want to do with it. Most of all I'm looking forward to the whole experience and had my confidence re invigorated last night. It's a very up and down process but so far, despite never having a minute anymore, I'm enjoying the challenge.
3 May 2008
My lead went awol this week and i have no idea where he is. So it seems three weeks into rehearsals i have hit a brick wall. I told myself at the beginning of this venture i was not going to let anything discourage me so I've taken it on the chin and will put it down to experience. I have put out a call for a replacement and am close to finalising someone to take over. This time i won't be so naive and trusting and will cast someone who has a genuine love for the medium and so far i think that won't be hard to find. I have visited some locations and hope to have them tied down within the next two weeks. Next weekend I'll be found scurrying in and out of various shops in the city centre on the lookout for props. Hope to have time to call into Filmbase to. I have now met with all the others involved and am excited and trilled and the level of talent at my disposal and also there own level of commitment toward the project. Although i anticipate further hick ups along the way i am fully enjoying the experience thus far even if i find myself more tired than usual. I can't wait for the day this will be my day job and it won't be from the lack of effort that will prevent that from happening.
5 May 2008
A successful prop hunt took place in the early hours of Saturday morning in Dublin and we got most of what we were looking for. Thanks to the guys at Filmmakers Network for their direction, we managed to get in and out in a few hours.
Sunday I spent doing a final draft for a satire competition and winged it on it's way. Cyber space hey. Done in an instant.
Over the next few days I'll do scene breakdowns. Sometimes I'm tempted to try and do a lot of this in my own head, but i know it is leaving my self open to a poor production, and i don't want that. Also had a wicked idea for another short which i will write and enter for Filmbase award at the end of June. Which reminds me, where is that application form.........
10 May 2010
Local DJ , Johnny Pluse has kindly offered to lend the production the use of his original music. Johnny has been spinning the decks for many years now and his input should give the film a sense of realism to what I'm hoping to achieve with it. His music is well worth checking out.
Just need to convince him to make a cameo now. Cheers Pluse.
14 may 2008
After 6 weeks of trial and tribulations, let downs and close calls, the final cast for The Making of A Wannabe is as follows. I hope there are no more changes , but there may be one or two additions to follow.
Anthony Kelly, Matthew Scanlon, Emma Hutchinson,Noel Farrell, Mary Quinn, Steven Ennis, Barry o'Neill, David Featherstone, John Murphy, aka, Johnny Pluse,Mary Farrell..
I will be adding brief bios in the coming days. We have a great mix of experienced actors, amateur dramatists and first time talent. It will be a great experience despite my nerve system becoming increasingly more active in recent days. If this is Adrenaline, i want no part of it!!
24 May 2008
Two weeks to go to the shooting of The Making of A Wannabe. It's been a very tiring week in many respects. Working the day job, for living, then working my second job in the night time and weekends.
I'm more or less tied down the crew now and have some great people on board, most like me doing what they have to do in order to get a break.
The best advice to anyone waiting for a script to get picked up, is to close your rejection folder, seek contacts and get the ball rolling yourself.
Life's to short to be waiting around. Anthony has his finals this week so any rehearsals have been between myself and Mattie, and he is showing some promise. It's a rollercoaster, one day I'm on top of the world , next day i wonder what I'm doing. It will be nice to have it shot, take a week or so off and just relax. Then its back to the keys, a first draft of my next short has been completed and work begins in earnest to polish it into the best short i possibly can. I think its the best thing i have written to date.
To leave on a high note. Gerry Tully asked me to call over and listen to a rough demo of an original song he has written and composed for The Man Who Held His Own Hand which will be shot by Hethwheel Pictures in the months ahead.
Well Ger, if this is a rough demo, what can i say except the finished song will just be out of this world. Awesome, Talented guy.
1 June 2008
The Cast and Crew of The Making of A Wannabe are a mix of experience and first timers. Below are brief bios for all the lads and lassies involved.
Cassius Clay - Dubliner Anthony Kelly will play the lead role of Cassius. Anthony is currently putting together the new virals for the 11850 ad campaign. Director friendly, and a great guy to work with.
Marty McNamara - Mattie Scanlon - New to the scene this will be Mattie's first acting role but if rehearsals are anything to go by, he definitely has a future as a comedy actor.
Cindy Harper - Mary's daughter Meghean Quinn. A late great addition.
Granddad - Noel Farrell Snr has been involved in many amateur dramatic productions. He is also a singer-songwriter and definitely the one from whom I inherited my creative gene. Noel also made a brief appearance in Braveheart and if you look closely he is the one that breaks the silence of the crowd as they bring William Wallace for execution.
Barbara Clay - Mary Quinn has been in some amateur productions. This will her first film role.
Mr. Henry - Chris Cleary is a local fire-fighter and has also some amateur experience. When not putting out fires he can be found adding to his collection of film.
Stevie Hardy- This will be Stevie's Ennis' first acting role. Watch out Vinnie Jones.
Wes Donavan - Alan Ashe. Cheers dude .
Rhonda Flanagan - Mary Farrell has recently been accepted into the acting course in the Liberties this will be her first film role.
Rozzer Flanagan - Ben Farrell , Mary's son in his first film role.
Dangerous Dave - Dave Featherstone is a local musician and is his first acting role.
Baz - JaSE Film director Barry O Neill steps up to the acting plate.
'Jambo' - Derek Wheeler adds to his acting credits.
Derek Wheeler - Derek will lend his camera and sound and editing expertise to the production. Without him this would not be happening. Derek and his partner in crime, Niall are the duo behind Hethwheel Pictures , whose short film Deadweed is now complete and is about to be screened before embarking on a worldwide tour of film festivals.
Brian Tuite - Humorous, intelligent and a really nice guy. Thanks for the experience of working with you.
Sarah Cottrill - Make up artist Sara has a brilliant portfolio and would lend huge appeal to this department to any production. She has done lots of work in music videos. Sarah also did hair throughout.
Sarah Kennedy - Hair -Thanks for freeing up the time to help out an old buddy.
Odharnait Maguire - Production Manager - and recently graduated , Odharnait is also pursuing work with in the Industry. Big Future.
Noel Farrell - Writer and Director. The rest I'll leave to the critics.
Behind the scenes - Dermot Corscadden - One third of JaSE Films , behind the scenes footage wannabe. OK I twisted his arm.
Stills and Graphics - Olivia Smith will be designing the cover for the DVD and also be taking stills for the shoot.
There are still a few more small tweaks to be made and will be added as we sort them.
6 June 2008
Wasn't much sleep last night as a thousand little things were going through my mind. I woke at half 5, showered the nervous sweat from my being and was ready to go. We started at nine, and i was sure Brian would pick up the sound of my heart beating as i said 'action' for the first time. The day went smoothly, take after take until i had the scene i had played through my mind a hundred times over the past few months. Derek and Brians experience lent much weight to what happened today and as the hours rolled by i grew a little in confidence. Anthony, Mattie and Noel were terrific and Anthony went the extra mile on more than one occasion. You'll have to wait and see. With regard schedule we shot through for an extra hour and went ahead on schedule. The last scene was a tricky set up considering the feel we wanted. When we couldn't get it first time, Derek would not be beaten and by the fourth take we had it. Startling, that's all i can say. Sarah was fabulous in make-up, you guys should check out her portfolio for future productions and Odharnait was fantastic as she kept a great look at how how our schedule was coming along, mindful of continuity and supervising the script brilliantly. Tomorrow is another day, but a dream has begun to be fulfilled. 35 years in the making and all i want is more.
7 June 2008
Working around 'normal life' we began shooting at one today. Of course i couldn't switch off last night and i decided to write in a little extra for a particular scene. It just didn't work so we went back to the original script and it went smooth. Sorry guys. That apart it was a great day. I was the most stressed i reckon, but had many cool heads around me. Again i don't know why people come into our lives but i'm glad all the cast and crew have. We shot until half 8, i think everyone was drained at that stage. Sorry Brian about that arm. I conspired with Anthony on one particular scene and kept the guys in the dark. My deviousness looking for a particular look nearly cost me a great take. But i think everyone just contained themselves for long enough to be able to use it..... But it's all a learning curve. I can't ask for more from them all, they are terrific. One final day, one final push. So far it's been all i have wanted it to be.
8 June 2008
So after three great days the shoot for The Making Of A Wannabe is now complete. We started at 9 and wrapped shortly after three. We had our hick ups today but we envisaged everything from the outset, so with Plan B's in place we got all that we wanted. I have to say everyone involved and in total we numbered nearly 20, were brilliant in everything they did. I got the performances i really had set out to get , Derek and Brian were just fantastic and these guys i credit for the experience they brought to this debut short, which incidentally is a 30 minute comedy with a mocumentary. Odharnait your an absolute star. Without your help, organisation, cool head and personality i don't know what i'd have done at times. I'll remember the pages next time..... or won't as the case may be. Sarah really extended herself on make up and your enthusiasm was great. I really urge other to look at her portfolio. To all the actors especially Anthony And Mattie thanks for going the extra mile.....and everyone , no matter how small the part you were great. Thanks to family and Ger for the catering. A boost when we needed it. I'll probably write more later,right now I'm just shattered. Took about four months to get to this point once the script was complete. I urge anyone out there who aspires to make film, for whatever reason, to get heads together and get going. You'll love it. So now we just have to wait. One way or another I'm proud of myself for fulfilling a life time dream and of everyone else involved. They could do no more. Thanks for giving a guy a shot. Few days rest and it will be off again. Going to try for funding in a few arenas but I'm not holding back. In a few weeks i begin pre-production on a 15 minute short titled 'Cripple'. First time I'll be storyboarding something, but with the guys i have just worked with involved, i step out of the comic genre for a while, and try it another way. Really please with how the script is shaping up. Thanx a mill guys
10 June 2008
The Making Of A Wannabe is a 30 minute short comedy film done in a mocumentary style. Two best friends set out on a journey to bring a feature film to the big screen set against the background of a family that has totally fallen apart. They document their experiences along the way as the venture ........... well i wouldn't want to ruin it. The principal characters feature in a comedy feature i wrote last year and which i still have great belief in. In this i hope to introduce the main characters and all going well give them some likability in their own unique worlds. I have been re writing Deeply Dippy in the past while, re - drafting and think i am close to finalising a revised version which is a much sharper comedy. I think i over did it in the previous drafts. We did our very best to bring that mocumentary/reality feel with regard the style while not cheating out an audience in other areas including Sound. We made minimal use of lighting work for us and when we had to, improvised.
The tragedy that goes on behind the protagonist's life is central to his way of thinking that maybe the world owes him something and he's going to get it. Unfortunately, he still has to learn more... a lot more.... in order to fulfill his dreams. But he shows a will for his endeavours in his own unique way and maybe...just maybe... someday he will get there. Given the fact the scenes had to run through from start to finish our editing time should be a little shorter than usual. Well that's what Derek tells me, I have limited knowledge in that area. Hopefully then we will have a screening somewhere as i think we owe it to ourselves for all the hard work we put in in the past months. The rest as they say 'Is up to the Gods'. If you're a comedy fan , like a good laugh and like different characters you're very welcome along when we come to that point.
21 June 2008
The Making Of A Wannabe will be screened at the Castle Arch Hotel on July 25th at 8pm.
Tickets to the screening are limited at present and if your require one please contact Barry at 086-8640207 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tickets are prices at 5 euro. A full DVD package will also be available on the night for anyone interested in supporting us. The DVD will include a commentary, trailer, blooper reel and behind the scenes footage from our manic little production.
All are welcome to attend. So as not to lead anyone up the wrong path, the film is a comedy and is targeted at an audience with whom this genre may appeal.
We look forward to hearing from you. And seeing you of course.....
15 July 2008
Just received the master copy of the dvd with the completed film, commentary, behind the scenes, bloopers, and trailer. Considering this is our first time out i think we have not much to complain about. The test will be Friday week, when we play to audience, so the rollercoaster of emotion continues. Until we gauge their reaction as a first time filmmaker its still all up in the air for me.
Roll on Friday week.
19 July 2008
I left the master DVD up to Crystal Media in Dublin yesterday to be pressed. It contains the 'Wannabe' film, a commentary by myself and Derek Wheeler telling how it all came together, the trailer, an outtake reel and a music video, 'Making Wannabe'. Olivia is busy putting the cover together and it looks great so far. Have to collect them on Wednesday and they will be available to everyone from Friday. I think the whole effort can make those involved proud to be part of and I personally am looking forward to my next project, a 15 minute drama . The script is now completed and we enter pre-production on it August 1.
26 July 2008
After 6 months of hard work, many ups and downs and a roller coaster ride, The Making Of A Wannabe screened in the Castle Arch hotel last night.
An audience of more than 150 people turned out and the film did as we always hoped it would and had them laughing in the aisles. Most of my finger nails have disappeared but the old ticker seems to have returned to it's normal beat.
Thanks very much to everyone who showed out and made the night what it was.
1 August 2008
So 'Wannabe' is finished. Nearly six months of hard work finally paid off last Friday evening when we played to a pleased audience in Trim.
So now it's time to test the waters in another genre and with something completely different. 'Cripple' is a 15 minute drama which tells the story of Jimmy Leary, scarred by a childhood incident and carrying those scars with him throughout his life. That is until a chance encounter with someone less fortunate makes him have a re-think and he is forced to face up to his past.
Casting is under way and the lead role will be played by the very talented Pat Halligan. Pat comes from a theatrical background and has starred in many productions including one recently in front of Brendan Friel in a play penned by the well known playwright. Pat also played the lead in the recent Hethwheel production 'Deadweed'. Discussions are now under way with more talented actors and we hope to have the piece cast in the coming month.
We have established locations that we would like to use and will be busy meeting up with people to try and secure these. Relying heavily on people's kindness again.
Gerry Tully is writing an original song and Niall Hetherington is composing a score. Mr. Derek Wheeler will be our Director of Photography if we can pull him away from his own heavy schedule. I have been in touch with some editors and am meeting with potentials in the coming week so fingers crossed.
The film is in for funding consideration but as always we don't depend on funding to get our work done. Of course it would be brilliant to be in a position to pay everybody for their talents but in Indie land that is not always possible. So again, fingers crossed.
6 August 2008
In the past year I have had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of Kenny Elliot, a fellow scribe based in LA. Kenny did me the honour of reviewing the DVD and here is what he wrote -
"The Making of a Wannabe" is a thirty minute mockumentary which marks the
directorial debut of FN member Noel Farrell. The film follows the plight of
"wannabe" writer/director Cassius Clay, (Anthony Kelly), as he's finished
penning his first script and after one too many rejection letters decides to produce
his labor of love on his own.
Helping him nearly every step of the way is his sidekick and sole mate Marty,
(Mattie Scanlon). The film works best in the scenes the two of them play together
as the no nonsense Marty is the perfect foil for Cassius, who in his own deluded
mind is no wannabe but already a renowned auteur who simply can't grasp why
anyone who wanders into his twisted world doesn't concur.
Other notable performances are delivered by the striking Meghean Quinn who
plays a struggling actress who'd probably sleep with the lad who makes the tea if
she thought it might help her get the part. Noel Farrell Senior is hilarious in a non
speaking performance. Perhaps his son will give him a line next time around.
But the real standout is Mary Quinn in a cameo as Cassius' put upon mother, who
swigs the vodka her son plies her with straight from the bottle, in an attempt to
win her permission to allow him to shoot his epic in her home.
Scenes involving an open casting call featuring a loud mouthed stage mother and
the paying of a bribe in order to secure a location ring true and will be all too
familiar to anyone who's ever worked on even the smallest of student films.
Farrell's lightness of touch as a director is very impressive and he has the good
sense to step aside and allow the actors to deliver the charming dialogue he's
Shot in long takes director of photography Derek Wheeler's lighting is equally
restrained and perfectly married to the material. As is Johnny Pluse's pulsating
musical score which deftly seesaws between the bleak and the whimsical in a
manner quite similar to the way the protagonist does.
Aside from a lone awkward camera angle and a couple of patches of dialogue
which bordered on being unintelligible the film's production values are extremely
sleek for a film I gather was produced on the most humble of budgets.
The DVD includes a clever trailer, a "making of" segment which is a sort of
mockumentary within a mockumentary, and a commentary by Farrell and
Wheeler, who served double duty as editor and the banter between them
is both amusing and informative.
All in all it's an impressive debut for Farrell and JaSE Films as they've made a
welcome mark on the Irish film scene.
16 August 2008
Patrick Thompson is a film reviewer for a horror site but kindly offered to write a review about The Making Of A Wannabe. Here are Patrick's thoughts.
Review: The Making Of A Wannabe
I am always honoured when I am given the chance to review independent films or shorts. Sometimes however it's a chore, having to watch some low budget film and be objective when you have talked to the person online and built up a banter or when a films so forgettable its hard to pick the flaws or merits. Sometimes its easy though. When your reaction to a film just tells you what the review should be and that was the case with this film. When something is as funny and straightforward as this little short is its actually easy to review.
The Making Of A Wannabe is a short done in the documentary style about Cassius Clay a young man named by his dead beat father after the boxer who wants to be a filmmaker and has dreams of bringing his "masterpiece" Deeply-dippy (the rights to which he bought of a friend for 10 euros) to the screen. The only problem is he has no budget, no backers and overall no talent.
The acting is fantastic with the casting of characters spot on. Anthony Kelly plays Cassius excellently capturing the characters gormless enthusiasm fantastically. While he is quite a dislike able character in the horrible way he treats other people Anthony keeps you interested in him by showing his enthusiasm and naivety. Mattie Scanlon plays Cassius's long suffering best friend Marty McNamara and is excellent as the frustrated straight man to Cassius. The supporting cast is also excellent special mention going to Cassius's alcoholic mother! The film is very funny and the performances are very much responsible for this.
The film is the debut of both director Noel Farrell and his production company JASE films. Like Derek Wheeler's (who shot and edited this film) recent short Deadweed this is a micro-budget short with competent production values and direction. It never fells like your just watching guys mess around with a camera like these shorts can. The documentary style works for the film and never gets in the way of the story. It is a strong debut that bodes well for the future of JASE films. Its also a well presented DVD package for a independent release.
Anyone who has worked on a low-budget film can relate to this short. From members of the public who hear the word film and expect Hollywood glamour wanting payment, to pushy parents with dreams of stardom for there children and of course pretentious directors with delusions of grandeur but little actual work to back them up. Maybe its even too true…..
Remember reading that some rock stars found Spinal Tap to close too the knuckle? That's what making of a wannabe is for filmmakers. Its funny but because the experiences are so true there is a faintly sad ring of truth to it.
The making of a wannabe is a decent little debut short that simply aims to be funny and does it well. A fine debut for Noel and JASE films and I would certainly pay to see a feature of this……or Daisy does Dublin!
6 September 2008
The second short film by JaSE Films will be shot in Co Meath in 4-5 weeks approx. Cripple is now almost cast and the final locations will be hopefully gathered this coming week. Once again JaSE is relying heavily on the support of the local community in terms of cast and crew to get this done.
Unfortunately news was received yesterday that we didn't make the shortlist for the Filmbase round of funding. So instead now the film will be put together on a very small budget and a lot of favours from various sources as we try and make in roads into developing a filmmaking scene within the county.
Though funding was not forthcoming we will endeavour to produce a top quality short which we hope will figure on the film festival circuit come the New Year.
3 October 2008
Finally secured the final locations for the upcoming short drama, Cripple. We have managed to secure some great ones which should give Derek plenty of scope to show of his cinematography skills. Derek has recently been nominated for an award in the UK at the Festival Of Fantastic Films in Manchester for his last film Deadweed which he was also the Director.
9 October 2008
This weekends expected shoot for the short Film , Cripple has been postponed due to adverse weather conditions over the coming days. Most of the scenes for the film are out doors and it would just not be possible with the budget we have to do it justice. It's always a pain in the ass when this happens especially after so much hard work up to now.
13 October 2008
Well, well well. Just when you kick off a new venture the problems mount up. Let go from my job today which means my only source of funding (myself) has disappeared. Great.
11 January 2009
Had talks with a producer in Longford today regarding writing and directing a feature film. There may be an opportunity here. No pay, but hopefully it will be worth it in the long.
20 January 2009
So I begin work on the script of I Wish today, a dark drama surrounding the tragic events in the aftermath of a family winning a huge amount of money. I said I would write it if I was allowed to direct it. It's an opportunity I can't pass up.
8 March 2009
The script for I Wish is finished and I sent away for a WGA copyright cert for it today. Steve Bloor, the producer and I will now set about the task of attempting to put the whole thing together.
11 may 2009
We held an audition day in the Shannon Key West Hotel in Roosky in Co Leitrim yesterday. It is a beautiful venue and will also host our fundraiser on the 9th of July. Thank you to all who travelled to meet with us and I in particular was very impressed with the talent on show. We shall now begin reviewing all the material from today and begin casting within days. Exciting.
25 June 2009
Last Sunday i had the privilege of being part of a unique film project. 140 is the brain child of award winning Drogheda filmmaker, Frank Kelly. Frank, using the social networking site Twitter gathered 140 filmmakers from around the globe and sent them all out in unison last Sunday at 8pm to film something that connected them to their homes. Every filmmaker had to film 140 seconds of footage which Frank will now edit.
More details on the project can be viewed here http://140faq.blogspot.com/ And a link to Frank's blog here http://www.frankkelly.blogspot.com/
6 September 2009
A film i wrote and was due to direct, titled I Wish was pulled by the wannabe producer 6 days before the scheduled shoot date. The script is now doing the rounds as I attempt to resurrect the project for all those who gave of their time and efforts. Though the experience was a murky one it has taught me some of life's biggest lessons. From now on i will only work on projects of this size when a contract is in place and not just the word of people. This post is late as the project was abandoned in July but such was the hit to my confidence and belief that it is only now i am getting around to writing about it. Onwards and Upwards.
2 December 2009
I was approached a fortnight ago by Trim resident, Martin Tidgh to see would i be interested in compiling a documentary about a group effort in Trim to make the town carbon neutral by the year 2025. Given the short time scale to the launch i had my reservations , but after a meet up with Martin i agreed to pursue it. This coming Friday the group wil launch with an event in the GAA acility in the town. Headlining the launch will be The Magic Numbers and Ham Sandwich alng with Gerry Tully, DJ Johnny Pluse, Kathy Crinion and others. Ketnote speaker will be economist David McWilliams. The concert will be preceded by an arts expo which begins at 4pm. I'm am currently developing the other story lines and aspects of the documentary and will film the rest of it over the coming weeks. It's all a leap of faith but given the nature of the people aligned with the idea it should make for a decent documentary in the long run. Many thanks to Jason Mehlhorn, Kevin McGlynn and Joe Rayfus who have come aboard at short notice to help document the event.
4 December 2009
Following through on a call for a co-writer on FMN a few months ago I was delighted to be asked to direct and co-write on a new series called The Arts Journal. The idea comes from the mind of Rita Marie Lawlor, who spent a number of years bringing her debut feature film The Apollo Music Club to completion. The series will chronicle two community TV workers as they explore the Art world cross many genre. Rita has almost completed work on the pilot episode and is currently nailing down the final draft. She has already began work on the second and third episodes and I will write a fourth over the coming month or so. Pre production is well under way. Rita herself will act in the series and I will direct the first episode. We are co-producing and my sister , Mary Farrell has been attached to play a role. Nothing to do with favours , it was Rita's call based on what she saw in The Making Of a wannabe. Casting should be complete soon and more details will become available as they happen. The shoot is scheduled for the end of January and Padraig Conaty will DOP.
The pilot will be shot in Trim and Dublin . We intend to aim it at BBC 3 or BBC 4 or Channel 4. But early indications are that no matter what happens we will continue and make a six part series with a dedicated website.
12 February 2010
After a number of months in pre production the shoot for The Arts Journal will commence this coming Sunday, February 14th and on the Saturday and Sunday of the following weekend.
The first day of the shoot will be at De Studio, in Donnybrook in Dublin with the rest of the filming taking place in Trim. We are very happy with the locations we have secured and the people who have come aboard to make this possible.
I will post a full list of cast and crew in the coming days.
Padraig Conaty is projects Director Of Photography and Jason Mehlhorn stepping in on sound.
The cast is a mix of talent from Dublin and here in Trim.
I'd very much like to thank John Kiely who will be the first episode's Executive Producer.
So it's an early start on Sunday morning but it's great to be back in the saddle after a series of disappointments last year and since Wannabe. Hopefully it all bodes well for the coming year.
23 February 2010
We began shooting the pilot episode of The Arts Journal on Valentine's Day in De Studio in Donnybrook, a large studio facility around the back of the Old Smurfit Building. We had a 10 am start and two scenes to shoot. It was a great way to ease into the shoot and get to meet with some of the cast and crew.
On set were Padraig Conaty ( DP) , Jason Mehlhorn ( Sound) Monica Tivda ( 1st AD) and Barry O Neill who took stills for the morning.
Cast members Rita Marie Lawlor and Tony Murphy who are the principal cast members. Using what we had we shot the opening segment in the studio before moving outside to shoot a small scene involving Rita and Tony. By 2 pm we were finished with little more than the sound of a nearby soccer match to contend with. During the week we had minor scheduling problems to contend with but by Thursday all was set for shooting the remainder of the pilot on location in Trim .
After an early morning drive into the city to pick up crew members and equipment we descended on The Bounty Bar for 9am. The place was full with cast and crew and we were quickly into the swing of things and were ready to begin shooting a little after 10am. Jaclyn Cooper was doing some great work in the make-up department on cast members Paul O Byran ( Moonshadow) and Megheann Quinn ( Nightstar). David Featherston and Sheelagh O'Droma acted as the other band members with Mary Farrell and Brendan Kelly joining in on affairs. By 12.30 we had the scene shot and were ready to move to a house in The Belfry after a very productive morning. Many thanks to Billy Wilson for the use of the location.
After a quick lunch we were ready to roll with the first part of the scenes that needed shooting at the house in The Belfry. It was a difficult scene to shoot and I was certainly glad to have the experience of Padraig and Jason beside me and together we found a way to get it done on schedule. Involved in the scene were Rita-Marie, Mary Farrell and Paul O bryan who were all excellent. By 3-30 we were ready to move again, this time to an apartment block just off Emmet Street. We were waiting on Ciaron Davies ( Fergal) to arrive and after a quick chat we decided to try and squeeze in an extra scene that was originally scheduled for the Sunday. We shot it in just under an hour. We had an unexpected couple of hours to kill due to a slight technical hitch but by 7-30 we were ready to go again. The excellent Ciaron Davies delivered a fine performance , with Barry O Neill ( Mickey) and Stephen Ennis ( Filmmaker) stepping before the camera in able assistance to Ciaron, Rita-Marie and Tony. A massive thank you to Jason Mehlhorn who spotted possible continuity problems and offered advice on how to deal with it in consolation with Padraig. As the hour approached 10pm we finally wrapped for the day and went to Kiely's Bar for a much needed rest. By 1am everyone had been dropped to their sleeping places. A special thanks to Ellen Farrell and also Sarah Kenna who kindly helped us with the sleeping arrangements for the night.
Sunday we woke to Baltic condition for an outdoor scene which was shot in the picnic area down by the Castle. By 10-30 we were good to go and it was the turn of Shane O Neill - a first time actor - ( Youth) to deliver a great performance as a wayward youth who felt his ground was being threatened by Zoe and Graham. Once again the scene went well , we shot plenty of coverage to play around with in the edit.
By mid-day we were once again in The Belfry to shoot the final scene. After a quick bite to eat we set about shooting it with Mary Farrell and Rita-Marie Lawlor.
Once again everything seemed to move smoothly and by 3 pm we were wrapped, well inside the time any of us had hoped for. We once again went to Kiely's for a quick drink before disbanding and returning to our own lives once again. After a number of months in pre-production and the occasional hick-up it was a great feeling to finally step back on to a set and find everything working and coming together very smoothly. I think this was down to the excellent crew we had managed to put together and the excellent cast who all came prepared and gave it their all.
Again I'd like to thank Billy Wilson for the use of The Bounty and also to John Kiely who kindly acted as Executive producer for the pilot episode. Without everyone's input and availability it just would not have been possible to put together this and see it through to post production. Many thanks to Sarah Kenna and Barry O Neill who helped greatly by driving people from Dublin to Trim and also from Trim to Dublin. Many thanks also to Bridie Farrell who catered very well for us on the Saturday and also to Sarah who did it on the Sunday.
Jason, Padraig,Monica and Jacalyn your work speaks for itself in the time we manged to turn this around in. Many many thanks.
Also many thanks to the brilliant cast we managed to put together. Your preparation and performances again lent to the fact that everything moved along quicker than expected and that is testament to the professionally who all showed throughout. We expect the edit to begin with the next week or so and will be done by the very able Ciaron Davies. At this stage it would be unfair to put a time scale on the turn around but it is out intention to have a screening when we are happy with the final cut. Details will be posted here and on the Facebook page set up to charter the series. Rita-Marie and I will be meeting up again in the coming week or so and hope to iron out and further develop the next few episodes and the series as a whole. We hope to secure funding at some stage but considering how well everything went over the course of putting together the pilot and getting it shot it is our intention to move on further and quickly with the series. Once again thanks to everyone who helped out throughout in whatever capacity. I really felt as if it was a huge effort in collaboration with a good on-set vibe. Here's to the rest of it.
11 March 2010
Here's a recent article concerning the shoot of the pilot episode of The Arts Journal . http://www.meathchronicle.ie/news/trim/articles/2010/03/10/3995493-new-tv-series-pilot-shot-in-trim/
13 March 2010
Frank Kelly , the brainchild of the 140 film announced this week that the World Premier of the 140 film will be at the renowned Newport Beach Film Festival in Calafornia. The film which was put together via social networking tool, Twitter is a collaboration between 140 filmmakers from across the globe, each setting out at a designated time last year to capture what connected them with their surroundings.
12 April 2010
I really should be more dedicated to the blog here but time has not been a commodity that has been in abundance of late which is a good thing.
Last Tuesday found me in Lillie Bordello's for the shoot of Rita-Marie Lawlor's short film , I Shagged Ronaldo. I was assistant director on the film and in a hard working day which didn't wrap until nearly eleven I felt the team Rita had assembled did a cracking job. A fifteen minute short shot in one day was a great achievement for all involved. Energy levels never waned once and despite some unforeseen hick-ups supplied to us by the Irish weather we managed to get all that she wanted. The script in which the film is based around was a finalist at the short script competition at the Waterford Film Festival last year. Want to wish Rita the best of luck in post-production and thereafter it's entry out into the world.
The 140 film is having it's World Premier in the coming weeks in California. The very best of luck to Frank Kelly as it begins it's journey and I am looking forward to seeing the finished film sometime in the near future. Work on The Arts Journal has slipped behind schedule but after a minor hick up the pilot will now be edited by Monica Tivda who was the 1st AD on the production. Hope to have more news with it's regard sometime in the next few weeks. The footage amassed for the Trim 2025 documentary is now in the hands of it's producer, Martin Tadgh and given the amount of it at his disposal it may be a while before an editor has time to go through it and cut a narrative from it. I look forward to seeing the finished product hopefully sometime in the Summer.
I've been writing my first book since last August and it is now winding it's way towards a projected finish within the next 4-6 weeks. The material I have written thus far has been extensively re-written and has now been passed on to some people for some impartial criticism. I have been blessed of late and would like to thank Ray, Caroline and Chad for their invaluable assistance both in editing and proofreading over the past couple of months. A writer sometimes find themselves spending long spells in their own company so it is nice to have the contact with others as I continue to hammer out what I hope will be an 'interesting' read.
Plans are afoot to have the first 30 pages ready as part of a submission package by the end of May and as I wait for the PFO letters to come back work will continue on the rest until hopefully we have a well paced and structured narrative for people to read by the end of the Summer. Forever the cynic. :)It's been a year since I wrote a film script and after the debacle that was the I Wish project I was glad when I was approached recently by a guy with a view to writing a feature which he hopes to shoot himself. Having read the treatment I agreed and although I can't say much on it for the time being I can promise that when it does see the light of day all you ham-action fans out there will be well pleased. It's not a genre that I have ever considered writing in but given the expansive and detailed nature of the treatment and the ideas behind it I feel i can do it some justice. I hope to have an initial first draft completed sometime by the end of May.
I'm looking forward to giving an Introduction To Screenwriting course at the Young Filmmakers Festival in Mullingar in May. Thanks to Joe Rayfus for asking me to do it. I'm a firm believer that if you capture any mind , be it creative or not at a young age and nurture it then it can only be of benefit to our society as a whole over the coming years. It's great to see such initiatives springing up all over the country at present and hopefully in the short term Trim and Co. Meath can become a part of that as well in film making terms. Sorry for the waffle, catch ya all soon.
21 May 2010
I attended the Young Filmmakers Festival on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week. The event was held in the Arts Centre in Mullingar and saw many young filmmakers and schools take part. The venue was full for the opening two days.
I was asked to help judge the completion and on Monday we sat through the 36 films that were selected for competition. We narrowed it down to 10 and these were shown again on Tuesday from which we selected winners.
A series of workshops were run in conjunction with the festival and I held an Introduction to Screenwriting on Wednesday. The event was well supported by the local community , educational facilities and local business'. The festival Director was Trim native Joe Rayfus.
The standard of film for those so young was highly commendable and one can only hope that this particular festival grows from this. Judging by the success of the festival which featured schools and filmmakers from all around the country it certainly should grow. Congrats to all who help put it together and made the event run smoothly right the way through.
7 July 2010
Never seems to be a minute these days. I finally saw the finished 140 film. Well done to Frank Kelly on his achievement. Looking forward to getting na DVd copy so I can watch it on a bigger screen than the one my computer provides. The Arts Journal should be finished soon. Rita Marie has finished work on Episode 2 and if we fail to secure funding for a series it hopefully will be manageable to continue ourselves. Time will tell...
I Shagged Ronaldo will screen as part of the Underground Cinema at the end of this month and looking forward to that.
Wannabe TV is up and running. A short intro was put on line a few days ago.
Apologies for the audio in one or two of the scenes. We currently have 2 cameras to work with and one only has an onboard mike. But Wannabe TV will do what it says on the tin. It's open to everyone to learn, make mistakes, learn and become better with each mini production.
We also hope to secure a lighting set up in the coming weeks so expect big improvements as we roll. Joe Rayfus and I helped with Trim's Pride of Place submission recently when we filmed a 12 minute promo for the submission. Brian Heffernan and Trevor Golden who put the whole thing together were more than happy with it and we were delighted to be of assistance.
27 September 2010
Wannabe TV is stalled at the moment. With anything to do with this type of project it's time consuming and difficult to sustain without lots of other people. The lack of equipment is another problem so thinking cap has been put on to see how it can be resurrected in a more sustainable way.
Some success recently for filmmaking friends. Jason Mehlhorn won the best documentary category at the Underground Cinema Awards recently. Rita-Marie Lawlors , I Shagged Ronaldo has been selected to play at Waterford and the festival selections continue to come in for Frank Kelly's 140. Finished a draft of an action feature for another friend in the past week so will await notes for re-writes and will talk more about it in time. Found it a difficult genre to write in but pleased with how the draft turned out. Work continues on ways to launch my first book and hopefully have an ebook available for download by the end of October.
The big challenge for next year will be to shoot my first feature. After disappointments in that area before, I'll produce it myself and hope to have a first draft finished pre-Christmas and do all the re-writes with actors I will cast thereafter. Prepping a few ideas at the moment and have to decide which is the most practical to develop. The only thing I can say is it won't be comedy and something a lot more serious. That will be my top goal for next year. First cut is complete on Arts Journal. Apologies to all involved for continuous delays. Some cutaways need to be shot in the coming week, final edit to be done and then some sound work. Shouldn't be to much longer and hopefully we can attract a little funding from somewhere to pay crew and cast as it's the only way certain deadlines can be met. Have a new editing suite on the way so that's going to free me up big time moving forward.
18 November 2010
A couple of final scenes were shot with a small cast and crew on November 18th in and around Dublin City Centre, mainly Doyle's pub and Temple Bar. The footage and sound needs to be synced and once that's done the edited will be completed, before work on sound commences. It's been a long year with many frustrations but it's now almost complete and ready for a screening which will be in Kiely's Bar at a date yet to be announced. I'm currently chatting with two great actors and guys about the possibility of taking part in a web series come the New Year. This will provide a visual platform for the characters in my novella, Sonny Strange , A Motivational Memoir in Minor and my novel, Booker's World. Both books are now almost completed, with a release of Sonny Strange on ebook in the coming days, followed by the print release of Booker's World in late January. Bringing these characters to life is something i am very much looking forward to. More to come soon...Now that I finally have become clear on what it is i want to do and how to incorporate my writing and directing into that, 2011 will be a busy year. I think I've set it up that though hard grind is ahead, it does incorporate a little fun. Beats being stuck down a hole any day of the week.
31 December 2010
Busy end to 2010. I released my first written work in eBook form, a short novella about a motivational speaker who gets taken in by an Internet scam as Ireland melts in an economic melting pot. I hope you take the time to download the free copy here.
Booker's World goes to the printer in the coming days, so all going well come the end of January that will be in print. To prepare for my first feature which hopefully may shoot toward the end of the Summer I have written a 6 part web series featuring the characters of Sonny Strange & Don Booker. I'll have more details in the next week or so. Arts Journal has slipped into 2011. Hopefully news on that in the next week also. Happy New Year to everyone. :)
1 May 2011
It has taken longer than anticipated, but The Arts Journal is now finished. Screening dates in Dublin and Trim will be announced in the coming days.
You can view a brief teaser here.
We will then put together a press pack and author some DVD's for all the cast and crew who gave their time up to work on the pilot. Then it's off to production companies who may have a little more clout than us at this stage.
A special thanks to John King & Monica Tivda for their work on the edit and to Jason Mehlhorn for his time and effort in the sound department and also to Padraig Conaty for his great camerawork.
It's difficult putting things together on a shoe-string and we are very grateful to John Kiely for the shoe-string that allowed us to complete the pilot. Hopefully someone, somewhere, will see some potential and we can all get a pay-day from it sometime soon.
Screening dates will follow in a day or so.
26 May 2011
The Arts Journal finally found the light of day when it was screened for the first time in The Pint Bar on Eden Quay on Tuesday night. John Kiely of Kiley's Bar in Trim who supported the production during the shoot played host to a second screening last night. Tonight sees it make its way to The Underground Cinema where it will be screened as part of their May program of films. Now time to work on a Press pack and get the pilot episode sent out into the big bad world of production. The fingers are twisted from cross them at the moment, so we'll see what happens.
Short comedy, Larry is shot over three days. Meg Quinn and Emily O'Sullivan helped out as well as actors ray Reilly and Deano Browne in this zero budget production which will be shown on the Internet and being used for the purpose of editing with FCP in preparation for the Booker's World web-series. Thanks to all that helped out, particularely Jason Mehlhorn for the use of some equipment.
Note to filmmakers. Don't multi-task. :)